Yorkshire School students embrace ‘rubbish art’ as part of recycling initiative

Student Council representatives from two Dewsbury-based schools took part in a recycling initiative a workshop designed to encourage children to think differently about the materials they waste and what possibilities there are to make the world more sustainable.

The recycling initiative FairandFunky, a community interest company, focused on empowering participants to take their own little steps to change the world delivered the project, which made use of plastic straws and bottle caps to create a college to a total of 21 student council representatives from Boothroyd Primary Academy and Thornhill Junior and Infant School.

The event took place last Friday at Boothroyd’s eco-house, which was built in 2016 and produces five times the amount of energy that it consumes. It was the first to be built in Yorkshire and features a 152m² double classroom that is ultra-energy-efficient and costs the academy nothing to heat and light over its 60-year design life.

Recycling initiativeIt also generates clean energy and revenue for the school through its solar PV roof. 

Recycling is high on the agenda for the schools - which both belong to Focus-Trust, a charitable multi-academy trust based in the North West of England – with Thornhill receiving a shout out from local MP Paula Sherriff during Prime Minister’s Question Time after she received a letter from students concerned about the UK’s reliance on Fossil Fuels; an issue the MP said that, if tackled, would support the sustainable future of the green economy.

In January, the school council at Boothroyd Primary Academy also hosted its own version of ‘Question Time’ by interviewing MP Paula Sherriff on how her role supports the people of Dewsbury, and by asking what more could be done to save the local and wider environment as well as endangered animals.

Thornhill’s headteacher, Michael Rowland, said:

“We are all responsible for the future of our planet, and as a Trust we place a lot of importance on ensuring that our pupils understand how to live sustainably. “Two of the key themes we focus on at Thornhill are respect and responsibility, and this workshop was a perfect way to get the Student Council – who can then relay the information to their peers - to start to think about how to respect our planet, and how to take responsibility for securing its future.”

Kyrstie Joslin, the Principal at Boothroyd, said:

“We work towards a set of values here at Boothroyd which place importance on caring, sharing, being fair and daring to do things differently. This workshop was a great opportunity for the children to put those key words into practice on an environmental level, and they had a great time doing it!”

Boothroyd Primary Academy’s Head boy said:

“The workshop was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed making art out of the rubbish and learned a lot about how important recycling is, too!”

FairandFunky is a Huddersfield-based community interest company that runs workshops focused on the topics of Fairtrade, recycling and the environment, working on the belief that ‘recycling is just one simple step each and every one of us can take to change the world’.

For further information about the recycling initiative from focus trust please visit www.focus-trust.co.uk